Physician Practices Respond to Medicare's Gain-Sharing Approach

eAlert 73aa3010-1a57-4384-a0f4-7f1f1bbb99a7

<p>Participants in Medicare's Physician Group Practice (PGP) Demonstration are charged with improving the coordination of care for their fee-for-service beneficiaries, investing in administrative and process improvements to increase efficiency, and improving the quality of patient care. If the practices accomplish these goals, they will share in the financial benefits of their efforts.<br><br>In a new <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=25620&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D428880%26%23doc428880">Commonwealth Fund report,</a> analysts at RTI International find that large, multi-specialty group practices will respond to financial incentives for quality improvement and cost-containment. The 10 PGP sites, which include more than 5,000 physicians treating upwards of 200,000 Medicare beneficiaries, have used the demonstration to expand data systems, care management programs, coordination-of-care efforts, and other interventions that are not directly reimbursed by Medicare.<br><br>The focus among participating group practices, the authors say, has been "less on direct financial rewards for individual providers and more on 'getting the reimbursement system out of the way' so that doctors can provide services they know that patients need." The demonstration is currently in the second of three scheduled years, and is projected to run through March 2008.</p>